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Former U.S. Senator and Alabama AG Luther Strange brings real-world experience to UA Law students

FEBRUARY 13, 2024

During his farewell address on the floor of the United States Senate in 2017, Luther Strange said he approached the end of his service in the world’s greatest deliberative body with “both the optimism of a young student and the battle scars of a man in the arena.”

Now young – and maybe not so young – students at the University of Alabama School of Law are benefiting from the experiences and “battle scars” of the former U.S. senator and Alabama attorney general.

Strange is serving as an adjunct professor this semester and teaching a course called “Litigating with the Power of the State: The Role of the State Attorney General.”

“It’s really a unique class,” said William S. Brewbaker, III, the dean of the University’s law school. “The particular course he is teaching on the role of the state attorney general is a great introduction to the intersection of politics and law.”

Lauren Chambliss, a third-year law school student and editor-in-chief of the Alabama Law Review, agrees.

“Senator Strange’s class, and its exploration of real-world examples and challenges, certainly has the potential to inspire students to consider and pursue impactful roles in public service post-law school,” Chambliss said. “We are blessed with wonderful professors at Alabama Law, but not many have spent extensive time in government. Senator Strange offers advice and guidance to students who might be interested in that route based on his own experience.”

That experience for Strange has included earning Eagle Scout at the age of 13, service in the U.S. Merchant Marine, and practicing law in Birmingham where he was regularly featured on various lists of the state’s and the nation’s best lawyers. In 2010, he was elected Alabama’s attorney general and re-elected four years later.

Strange’s tenure as attorney general was marked by a strong emphasis on fighting public corruption and opposing the expansion of the federal government’s authority and power at the expense of the states.

As attorney general, he argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court and served as Coordinating Counsel for the Gulf Coast States in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Strange’s work on the case against BP led to a landmark settlement agreement that compensated Alabama for both economic and environmental damages.

Strange’s course at the UA School of Law focuses on the powers and responsibilities of state attorneys general, the limitations of those powers under state and federal law, and litigation with the federal government.

“Luther has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and stood in the well of the U.S. Senate. We’re naturally pretty delighted when someone with a background like this is willing to take time to teach our students,” said Brewbaker.

Strange says being around the students has renewed his optimism for America’s future.

“I know many Americans today are nervous about our country’s future. But the students in this class are so impressive, thoughtful and engaged. They are remarkable and a credit to the University of Alabama,” said Strange. “It’s made me feel more hopeful and confident that America’s best days still lie ahead of us.”

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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